Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Summer Trip: Portland, OR

How can you not love Oregon when seeing scenes like this?!?!

I did not get to stay the full two weeks like I had hoped, but did have a very enjoyable week. My friend Josh that went with me will stay on for another week.

Portland is a city after my own heart. Can't wait to visit again!

Run down of things I did...
  • Met some wonderful people!
  • Worked at the Oregon's Brewers Festival
  • Volunteered at Zenger Farms
  • Biked until we physically couldn't
  • Visited the Washington Park Rose Garden
  • Went to a "special" dessert place (don't want to ruin this for others who might go)
  • Go a private, after hours tour of Widmer Brewery
  • Spent hours at Powell's Books
  • Tried Stumptown coffee
  • Drove down the Oregon coastline
  • Visited Oregon's shortest lighthouse
  • Saw sea lions
  • Ate grilled PB&J's at a food cart
  • Tried several of Portland's 30+ breweries
  • Ate award winning clam chowder
  • Fell in love with the public transit system (Oh Nashville maybe one day!)
  • Sadly, did not take many pictures

Playtime is over and it is time to get back to the swing of work. I'm excited about the school year ahead, but also thankful for this break before things get really hectic.

I love Portland.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Out of the Office...

I'm in Portland, OR for two weeks (Lord willing!)... Not sure how much I will blog, but expect big blog upon return...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

You've Got To Be Kidding!

To renew tags for Vespa you have to pay the same as a car in Nashville.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

How to Live Like Socrates

So this morning while checking email, I saw this on my "How-To" sidebar.

"How to Live Like Socrates" (taken from Wiki-How)

1. Begin by reading some of Plato's dialogues.
2. Don't change your life immediately.
3. Follow Socratic principles and ideals.
4. If you truly wish to live like Socrates, then you need to devote yourself entirely to philosophy and searching for the truth.
5. Make sure where you debate with others is in a public area.
6. Never be afraid to voice what your think, or more importantly the truth.
7. Never fear death.
8. Show humility.
9. Remember the Socratic paradoxes.
10. Stick to your principles even in the face of death.
11. Be sure to "know thyself".
12. Meet distinguished or influential people.
13. Remember that the truth is the most important thing ever and you must do everything you can to find it.

While interesting, I thought I wonder what my Socrates' list would be...

"How to Live Like Socrates (the dog)"

1. Begin by looking as cute as possible so the humans take you home.

2. Change owner's life immediately.

3. Follow owner as close as possible to her heels.

4. If you truly wish to live like Socrates, you must eat twice a day, take as many naps as possible, and eat something of the owner's at least once a week.

5. Make sure when you bark is when humans are asleep.

6. Never be afraid to bark at 5:45am. Your owner should know that you think it is time to play.

7. Be afraid of everything that comes near you.

8. Show love.

9. Remember to jump on owner when covered in mud.

10. Stick to the couch when all else fails.

11. Be sure to "mark your territory."

12. Meet other dogs with loud bark or ferocious growl.

13. Remember being handsome is the most important thing ever and you must do anything you can to be that way.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Over Already?!?!

I can't believe I am saying this, but...

So ready for this summer to be over.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Ultimate Checklist for Myself

I am a "to-do list" kind of girl.

If you dig through my purse, you would surely find at least two checklists. It might be on the back of a receipt, on a cute teachery piece of paper, or just on a post-it in my planner.

The thrill of marking something off is exhilarating. I will go back and add things that weren't on my list just so I can mark them off.

So in my newest venture in art journaling, I came across several people that make a 101 in 1,001 list. Sign me up!

Then, I got to thinking about it. I will turn 30 on April 27, 2013. (Insert a four letter word here.) So if I plan to end my 101 in 1,001 day adventure on my birthday then I have to begin on July 31, 2010. (Makes 30 seem so much closer!) I have so many things already on my list, but this will give me a couple of weeks to mull my list over. I will blog list on my first day.

A checklist that ends at 30... This is so Beth Quarles.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Daily Groupon

So each day I get an email from Groupon that offers a pretty big discount to something around town. Often the Groupon is for salons, restaurants, clothing stores, etc. They have even had a Groupon for Pied Piper! :)

Today the subject line caught my eye... 53% off Pole-Dancing Classes.

Sure enough, the Groupon is for a set of 4 pole-dancing classes at...

Wait for it....

Goddess A Go-Go.

I can't stop laughing.

Here is the Groupon's description...

"Today's Groupon offers a pole-based exercise more effective than 1920s pole sitting, more energizing than pole-vaulting, and more sensual than polenta. For $49, you get four 90-minute pole-dancing fitness classes (a $104 value) at Goddess a Go-Go in East Nashville. Up to two Groupons may be used per person, and classes must be redeemed within one month of the first class.
Pole-dancing participants of Goddess a Go-Go's flesh-toning workouts will harness the power of centrifugal force and their own curvaceous bodies to increase flexibility, boost self-confidence, and learn how to sexily repair phone lines. Each student will benefit from small classes that include two knowledgeable instructors and no more than 12 women (also known as a baker's harem), ensuring personalized attention and a smaller chance of pole-climbing traffic-jam pile-ups. Goddess a Go-Go's quality facilities at
GYM 5 boast six permanently installed 14-foot poles and 1,600 square feet of lustrous hardwood floors, plus a tip-top locker room with showers and challenging palm-tree climbing equipment.
Students of all ages and backgrounds can trim their fleshoskeletons and buff up biceps thanks to a convenient
class schedule that offers four weekly classes-allowing participants to pursue full-body fitness, slide up poles, and drive gravity crazy with lust at whatever time works best for them. Whether you're looking to spice up your love life or tone up your curves, today's Groupon to Goddess a Go-Go will have you arching your back as if you were a sexy long-haired wildcat, not to be confused with the long-eared hedgehog, which is really more cute than sexy. "

Thank you Groupon for starting my day off with a laugh. I think I will pass this time. ;)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Favorite Summer Recipe

My favorite summer recipe...

Ravioli with Sauteed Zucchini and Squash

1 lb. cheese ravioli (I use Buitoni's... the small package for 2 meals for myself or the large package for a meal for 2 people and a small portion of leftovers.)
2 T olive oil
1 large zucchini
2 small yellow squash
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese

First, add ravioli to about 5 quarts of boiling water. Boil for 7-9 minutes. Drain and put in a big serving bowl. Then, heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add zucchini and squash. I normally add a little salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic and then cook for another couple of minutes. Then, add veggies to the ravioli. Toss with Parmesan cheese. Eat.

I have fixed this meal several times over the past 3 years and cannot get enough of it. I will say it is not a good reheat dish, but it also tastes yummy chilled.

Because I volunteer at the Farmers' Market on Wednesday afternoons, I can get my zucchini and squash for the meal then. Perfect.

Owls and Journals

I have always liked to draw, but I like to say it's like kid's art. Kind of cheery, colorful, and with lots of outlining. I have several animals that I draw a certain way each time. They are almost like my own little characters. A lamb, a turtle, a horse, birds, a dog, and even a cow. Today, I created my owl. He appeared on the cover of my newest journal.

I have several different journals I write/draw in. A journal that records all of my travel adventures and any romance (ha!) that I might find myself in. A journal that is filled with spiritual enlightenments so to speak. A journal that I pray is burned immediately upon my death so my darkest sides will never be known. A journal of lists. A journal of doodles. The owl is on my newest doodle journal.

Everybody needs a little creative outage. Even if you are so analytical (like my brother!) that it tends to cause much rolling of the eyeballs ,there is still a need for creativity. Mine is drawing and writing.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


The Chihuly exhibit is showing at Cheekwood and it does not disappoint!

Dale Chihuly is one of the world's greatest glass artist. He is lives in Washington, but spent time in Venice, Italy where he learned the art of blowing glass. His work is unique because he ties it with landscapes. The exhibit at Cheekwood was designed specifically for Cheekwood.

Nana treated me to a morning visit to the Chihuly exhibit and then to lunch at the Pineapple Room. Thanks Nana!

(The two pictures above were my favorites!)

Summer Trip: Louisville, KY

On Saturday, I went with some friends to Louisville for the day. We ate Chinese for lunch at Wonton Express. We stopped at earX-tacy to go record shopping. Of course, we had to get Graeters' ice cream (Black Raspberry Chip!). Then, we headed downtown to catch a Louisville Bats game.

Because we had a little time, Katie and I took a little stroll only to find Hillbilly Tea. Sounds like the perfect place for dinner! And it was. They had a big selection of teas that you drink from a Mason jar. All of their food was served on pine wood planks. Katie got tofu and I opted for bison. While we were eating, our ears perked up... Did you hear Chinese? Yep... We confirmed with a worker that we were listening to a little "Chinese R&B". Could this restaurant be more perfect for us?!!?

After dinner, we headed back for the Bats game. The Bats played Indy and won. The weather was great for a night at the ballpark.

(picture taken with Hipstamatic app on iPhone)

Before we headed home, we were able to see the city of Louisville's fireworks show on the riverfront.

Louisville... so fun!

Needed: Pep Talk

Some of the effects of cancer just stay with you.

Nana and I went shopping today. She wanted to get me something for my new job. :) I need to look a little more professional than what I got away with wearing while teaching. Four stores and piles of clothes later, I finally could not hold it in anymore. I cried and told her what I had been thinking the whole time. Things would look so much nicer if I had more hair. We decided to call it a day.

I can't really explain it, but sometimes I feel so overwhelmed in thinking that nothing is ever going to be the same again.

I have become more insecure since August when things got a little more serious. I feel shallow because I struggle with how I look which before was never a big deal. I didn't even go to a friend's party once because I knew I would have a hard time with all the beautiful girls that would be there.It is hard to look at old pictures or even pictures taken last summer. It sounds so silly. I know that. I know it is silly. But even this moment as I sit here typing, I am crying because of how I feel.

Looks aren't the only thing I struggle with. Patience, energy, faith, and independence all seem to be lacking in my mid- to- post cancer life. I guess maybe I thought all of those things would be better/stronger when I actually got through treatments. Maybe I psyched myself up too much.

Sorry for the word vomit, but maybe a fellow cancer survivor or just a friend will read this and know just what to say because my own pep talks aren't working...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Indelible Grace

Last night I was fortunate enough to get tickets to see Indelible Grace at the Ryman. Indelible Grace is made of well-known Belmont graduates (and spouses) who take old hymns and give them new music. I actually had never heard of Indelible Grace, but knew of (and love!) Derek Webb, Sandra McCracken, and Matthew Perryman Jones who perform in Indelible Grace.

The concert was actually a hymn sing so members of the audience were encouraged to sing along. Growing up in a Church of Christ, I was blessed to learn many hymns. Hymns have such deep and rich lyrics that I think are sometimes lost in worship music today. It was great to sing songs that I love (including Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah and On Jordan's Stormy Banks) paired with music that I love.

Here is just a minute of last night's performance I found on YouTube.

Thanks Melanie for snagging tickets for me!